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Suffering and Autonomy at End of Life

Suffering and Autonomy at End of Life

Funded by:  Royal Society of Edinburgh

Main contact:  Dr Jennifer Corns

Start date:  2017

End date:  2018

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Dr. Ben Colburn and Dr. Jennifer Corns won a grant of £9,707.50 to host two workshops and a conference on suffering and autonomy at the end of life. Scotland’s aging population challenges our established theory and practice concerning end of life care. This series of interdisciplinary workshops considers how to protect the core human value of autonomy in geriatric and palliative care. We focus first on theory, exploring the relationship between suffering and autonomy at end of life, and considering how suffering can both threaten and augment autonomy. We then turn to practice, bringing together academics, policymakers and practitioners to consider how the identified effects of suffering and autonomy are currently reflected in medical and legal regulatory frameworks, and how those frameworks might be reformed. These developments in theory and practice will make a substantial contribution to the aim of guaranteeing the conditions of autonomy for all citizens, not only in the prime of life, but also at its end.